The Saudi Arabia-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation is planning to sue the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo following its publication of a front cover depicting the Prophet Mohamed.
“It’s hate speech,” they argue. And they have a point.
You see, in most of Europe,”freedom of speech” is limited. They don’t have a 1st Amendment over there, after all. Certain types of speech are illegal, such as denying the holocaust. Nazi symbols are prohibited. In France, there is a law prohibiting speech that is “defamatory or insulting, or which incites discrimination, hatred, or violence against a person or a group of persons on account of place of origin, ethnicity or lack thereof, nationality, race, specific religion, sex, sexual orientation, or handicap.”
What a terrible law.
But the Muslims have a point. If you are banning hate speech, you need to ban all hate speech. You can’t make it illegal for anyone to say something bad about Jews while allowing Charlie Hedbo to insult Muslims with every issue.
My hope is that this lawsuit will point out the hypocrisy of any law that punishes speech.
We have to protect speech we hate. We have to protect speech that is insulting.
Speech everyone agrees with doesn’t need protecting.